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The Believer by Stephanie Black
There is a place where the threat of foreign terrorism is nonexistent, where there are no arguments about religion, and no battles over politics. Welcome to New America—a place where reading the wrong book can cost you your life!
Ian Roshek finally believes in something. The young history professor has studied a contraband copy of the Book of Mormon—and he knows what it says is true. But now his newfound convictions will be put to the test as he struggles to listen to the still, small voice, while society screams in his ear.
Ian’s sister Jill and her influential boyfriend only see Ian as a man with religious delusions–a man who needs help. And though her facade of brutality hides it, police interrogator Alisa Kent feels a trace of compassion toward this flawed, but courageous man who stays true to his faith–despite the fact that it’s contrary to both logic and public opinion. If only for selfish reasons, she wants to know more. But soon Ian’s choices will ignite a chain of events that he, and those around him, cannot escape.
Stephanie Black: I’ve enjoyed making up stories since I was a child, when my sisters and I would play long, strange Barbie games or write and direct plays for ourselves and younger siblings. I took a creative writing class in high school, but my stories stunk, since I hadn’t yet figured out that a story needs a plot. But I finally got An Idea, and an encouraging comment from the teacher got me rolling. After a few years of writing random scenes, I decided to try writing a novel start to finish, but that led to a failed unfinished manuscript and the realization that there was a lot more to writing fiction than I’d ever understood. I began reading books about fiction technique and started over with my novel project. After a veerrrry long time of reading, writing, rewriting, more rewriting, submitting, and then—when I thought I was finished—major rewriting, my first novel, The Believer, was published by Covenant Communications in January 2005.
It was 1877 when Tabitha Hall Chadwick left Manti as a young bride. Now, nearly seven years later, she returns as a widow with her young son to make a new beginning. Tabitha’s strained relationship with her mother–in–law adds more difficulty to her life as a single working mother. Yet with a stroke of courage, Tabitha makes two purchases that become her passions: the local newspaper and a traumatized horse.
As she struggles to meet the challenges of her new roles, Tabitha welcomes the friendship of Samuel, a recently widowed British immigrant. Working together to train the abused horse, the two discover a second chance at love. But when Samuel is critically injured during the construction of the Manti Temple, Tabitha faces the pain of old wounds and the risk of new ones.
Weaving themes of loss and renewal, this poignant tale explores a vital choice each of us must make: to seek safety in isolation or to embrace the painful yet beautiful complexities of life and love.
Annette Lyon was given the 2007 Best of State medal for fiction in Utah and was a 2007 Whitney Award finalist for her fifth book, Spires of Stone. She’s been writing for most of her life, beginning with stories about mice in second grade. While she’s found success in magazine and business writing, her true passion is fiction. In 1995, she graduated cum laude from BYU with a BA in English. Annette enjoys reading, knitting, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order.
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